Being A Biracial Child Means Seeing The World Through Two Different Lenses

Being A Biracial Child Means Seeing The World Through Two Different Lenses

"You get the best of both worlds."
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A goal of mine when I joined Odyssey was to be the person who showed the world the voices of the community around me. Every time I have done an interview, it is because there is something about the people I have interviewed that others do not know. And this interview is an addition to the collection of stories I've had the amazing privilege to tell. I love reading about different perspectives, but I haven't seen too many pieces that display the perspective of a mixed child. I have seen statistics and facts, but neither of those compare to the voice of a person with a story about her life as a multiracial child. My friend Sarah* is someone whose voice deserves to be heard by the world, and I could not thank her enough for being such a wonderful friend and for doing this interview.


Please note that the person's name has been changed*, and the person pictured in the cover photo is not the same person who was interviewed. Also, any text within brackets has been changed for clarity or grammar purposes.

Has being biracial ever been a problem for you?

"Being biracial has opened my eyes to new cultures and has helped me experience diversity in the world. Although being multiracial has opened my eyes, it can be at times hard because it's sometimes difficult to relate to other people.

"A problem that I have faced as a mixed person is representation in general society. For example, there are not a lot of role models that I can look up to that are of my same races. There are people that I look up to that are of one of my races, [but they are] never of both. Fortunately, we live in an open-minded world (for the most part), and almost everyone that I know does not judge me based on my ethnicities.

"However, my parents, being a multiracial couple, have been judged because of the fact that they are not of the same race. [Once] they asked someone to take a picture of them, and he refused to, solely due to the fact that they were of different ethnicities."

What are the benefits of being multiracial?

"I come from two very diverse and rich cultural backgrounds, and both my direct and extended family members have taught me many interesting things about my history, which has enabled me to be more aware and open-minded. I have immense respect for everything that my grandparents on both sides have gone through to raise my parents, who then raised me. I love hearing stories from both families, whether [they] be influential historical events or unique traditions. When I was younger, for special events like family reunions, I got to wear traditional clothing, and it was interesting to see the differences [between] the said clothing and what I usually wore.

"I get to travel to my different homelands. For example, I got to go out of the country for the first time a while back to visit my extended family, and it was an incredible experience that I won't forget. Not only did I feel enriched with new knowledge, but I also gained a better understanding of my roots."

Do you find any differences between being multiracial versus others of one race?

I wanted to ask her about a more specific topic, which was that certain mixed people have claimed to feel out-of-place when it comes to figuring out where they feel they belong. Fortunately, she replied that she doesn't feel the same way.

"I get to see the world through two different lenses. Diversity is a very big part of my life, and it has helped shaped me to become the person I am today, both figuratively and literally. I hope I can spread my cultural awareness to other people and absorb theirs as well to make me a better person.

"But for standardized tests and any forms that require me to fill out my race, I often find it difficult to decide which of my two ethnicities to put down. There's always the 'other' option, but at the same time, my ethnicities are both presented. It wouldn't make sense for me to put ['other'].

"I feel like the community and the people I've surrounded myself with are accepting of everyone, and I'm thankful that I haven't experienced discrimination or felt like I haven't belonged. I just hope that others like me feel the same way."

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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12 Things Only Low-Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
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Sometimes low-maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low-maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low-maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a T-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes? We aren't here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low-maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn't dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You're always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don't care what we do," you really don't care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald's dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I'm just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn't a fashion statement, it's actually just your hairstyle

We aren't about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything… right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip-flops or Converse?

9. Shopping isn't exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my T-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don't want your money, I just want to know you thought of me.

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low-maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

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I Asked A Group Of College Students If Ariana Grande's Fake Tan Is Problematic, Here's The Consensus

"It's just a tan. Who doesn't want to be tan?"

Ellie
Ellie
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For the last few weeks, every time I have gone on my phone, I keep seeing articles in my recommended about how Ariana Grande's fake tan has gone too far and considered blackface and how she also appropriates Hispanic/Latino culture. Although it kept popping up on my phone, I haven't heard anyone talk about it so I questioned how many people actually thought this. I looked up a picture of her and I was surprised to see that she was just as dark or possibly even darker than Nicki Minaj, so I thought, okay, maybe some people really do think this.

I created a poll and sent it to all my friends and club group chats asking for people's opinions. I asked three questions. Do you think Ariana Grande's fake tan should be considered blackface? Do you think she appropriates black culture in any way? Do you think she appropriates Hispanic/Latino culture in any way? The yes or no questions were mandatory on the form but an explanation was optional.

These were the results along with some reasoning:

Do you think Ariana Grande's fake tan should be considered blackface?

82.4% of respondents said no, it is not blackface, and 17.6% said it is.

The only explanation for yes was "She is several shades darker."

Some of the explanations for no included:

"It's a spray tan. Everyone gets them. And as a black person, I don't find it offensive."

"She isn't changing her skin tone to suppress a minority, she is doing it because being tan is more on trend. She isn't doing it with the intent of hurting anyone."

"Her tan is not an attempt to seem black or to mock black people."

"It's just a tan. Who doesn't want to be tan?!"

"Some people just use too much tan. Example: Donald Trump. His fake tan is most likely not blackface."

"A good tan helps with confidence! I know that when I'm tan, I feel 100x prettier. I'm not a fan of Grande, but she got a tan! I don't think it's anything more."

"If someone is uncomfortable in their pale skin, they have every right to tan. She is not claiming to be anything other than white, she is just changing something about herself that made her insecure. Pale skin is often seen as unattractive, so this is perfectly normal for her to want to alter it."

"Everyone does fake tans. She just wants to show her real Italian color."

"We live in a time where getting a cheap tan equals wanting to be a certain race. These types of people are looking for something to be offended by at this point even if it's a non-issue."

The next question: Do you think she appropriates black culture in other ways? (language, appearance, etc.)

88.2% of respondents said she is not and 11.8% said that she is.

There were no explanations for yes here, but here are some of the ones to no.

"She acts too white."

"She's not desperate like the Kardashians, so there you go."

"I don't think she is doing anything to appropriate black culture, I think she is just trying to make money"

"I don't believe she is appropriating black culture simply by being who she is. If she was exploiting black culture like 'acting black' in a music video, that would be a much different case."

"I don't think her appearance does, but not sure about other characteristics"

"She is not claiming to be black or anything else. Many people have fake tans, it is normal in our society."

"She's expressing her interests."

I think it's interesting that the percentage went down.

The final Question: Do you think she appropriates Hispanic/Latino culture in any way? (language, appearance, etc.)

Again, 88.2% of respondents said she is not and 11.8% said she is.

There were again no explanations for yes. This time most of the answers for no were "Same as previous answers" as well as these:

"She doesn't act or take on any traits of people from these cultures."

"No. She's just expressing her interests."

"I've never seen her appropriate their culture."

Before I concluded these findings I looked to see if there were any other reasons people would find it problematic. The main thing I found was that she takes off her fake tan to be on magazine covers such as Vogue. This, in some people's minds, means she is using the dark skin to gain a following and gain a wider audience yet took it off to play to racist mainstream beauty standards.

I was hoping looking into all this would help me form a more solid opinion on the situation. As of now, I don't think it was done in a harmful sense, so it is probably okay. I hate when unnecessary problems are made. Yet, I can see why some people find her fake dark skin to be a problem. Similar to the Instagram influencers who were pretending to be black. I would love to hear more opinions on the matter and get more viewpoints.

Ellie
Ellie

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